On-loan defender Georg Margreitter equalised for the Spireites as Notts County claimed a 1-1 draw at the Proact Stadium.
After Blair Adams had given the visitors a first half lead, Chesterfield were forced to accept just a point despite a strong second half performance, with veteran 'keeper Roy Carroll outstanding for County.
After leaking six goals in their last two league games, Paul Cook was looking for his men to tighten up at the back and show more of the discipline that is needed to thrive in League One.
However, the host's defence was exposed in the first minute as a Notts County cross from the right was flicked on towards the far post by Zeli Ismail, forcing Tommy Lee to make the save at full-stretch.
The away side had the greater amount of possession in the opening ten minutes but only managed to create the one clear-cut chance. After a slow start the Spireites began to settle down, with Jay O’Shea and Daniel Johnson pulling the strings in the midfield.
Despite Chesterfield beginning to find their rhythm it was the away side that took the lead in the 15th minute. A second corner in quick succession was only partially cleared by the Spireites before it fell to Adams who fired a low left-footed shot from the edge of the box past Lee into the far corner of the net.
Spireites’ Sam Clucas started off in the left-back position and filled in nicely with his pace also allowing him to dart down the flank and cause the opposing defenders problems.
In an end-to-end first 25 minutes, the away side almost doubled their lead as Adams, who was enjoying pushing forward down the left wing, saw his shot denied by the post after beating Lee. Down the other end an O’Shea pin-point corner was deflected by the head of Armand Gnanduillet but it was glanced wide.
It was once again down the left side where Chesterfield created one of their best chances of the first half. A quick free-kick was laid off to O’Shea whose shot was rifled wide.
Moments later the home side were on the attack again and a cross from the right was sent looping over Carroll off the head of Gnanduillet, only to land just over the bar.
Chesterfield grew into the game more as the half came to a close but went in behind at the break.
The second half started with the Spireites looking to push forward and use their fast-paced style to impose themselves on the game.
A fantastic double save from Carroll denied Chesterfield an equaliser in the first five minutes of the second half. First Gnanduillet’s header back across goal was turned goalwards by Eoin Doyle, with Carroll’s outstretched leg the only thing denying the Irishman another goal. Following that save the ball fell to Jimmy Ryan who rifled a shot, forcing a second instinctive save from the former Manchester United keeper in a matter of seconds.
The constant pressure from the home side continued to allow them to create chances. Johnson bent a shot just wide of Carroll’s far post, and then seconds later his cross flew just inches above Doyle as he attacked the ball.
Johnson made a good start to the second half and his corner was met by Ollie Banks who rose above the defence to head onto the bar, with the ball falling back to the midfielder only to once again see Carroll make a superb save to tip it round the post.
The home side’s aerial pressure was eventually rewarded in the 62nd minute as yet another corner from Johnson was thundered into the back of the net by the head of Margreitter who leapt high above everyone to score his first goal for the Spireites.
With 20 minutes to go the game came alive as both sides pushed for the win. The Spireites worked the ball into the box before Doyle’s shot was turned away by Carroll, Johnson then pounced on the defence’s inability to clear but his shot was headed off the line.
Immediately down the other end Shaun Harrod broke the offside trap and forced a good sprawling save from Lee. The substitute then tried to lob the retreating keeper, but Ian Evatt was on the line to head the ball to safety.
Dan Gardner came on to replace O’Shea in the Spireites midfield and it was the substitute who put Doyle clean through on goal, only to see Carroll make a fantastic one-on-one save, further adding to the Spireites’ frustration.
Johnson had yet another shot stopped by the impeccable Carroll after Gardner’s backheel had left the Aston Villa loanee clean through with just the keeper to beat. The pair combined once again in the dying minutes of normal time but on this occasion it was Gardner who saw his shot blocked by Carroll.
The away side had a chance to steal the win in time added on as Liam Noble had his shot deflected narrowly passed the post.
It was fitting that the last chance of the game fell to Chesterfield’s Johnson, who later claimed the man-of-the-match accolade. His solo burst through the middle allowed him to find space to get a shot away from the corner of the six yard box, however Carroll was not to be beaten a second time and made what was one of his more comfortable saves.
It was a frustrating game for the Spireites, with Notts County clinging on to secure their fourth league draw in as many games. Carroll was superb in the County net but Chesterfield will feel that they did more than enough to win the game.
Chesterfield: Lee (gk) – Darikwa, Evatt (c), Margreitter, Clucas – Johnson, Banks, O’Shea (Gardner 79’), Ryan – Gnanduillet, Doyle
Subs not used: Wright (gk), Dawes, Raglan, Humphreys, Boco, Lamb
Notts County: Carroll (gk), Cranston, Hollis, Laing, C. Thompson – Ismail, Smith, Wroe (Harrod 58’), Adams (G. Thompson 67’), Noble – Cassidy
Subs not used: Spiess (gk), Murray, McKenzie, Haynes, Traore
Chesterfield: Margreitter 62’
Notts County: Adams 15’
Attendance: 7,422 (1,222 away supporters)